As someone who grew up loving the Batman: The Animated Series/Superman: The Animated Series crossover episode “World’s Finest,” where Superman and Batman meet for the first time in the DC Animated Universe, I had high expectations going into tonight’s episode. And I can gladly say I was not disappointed. “Flash vs. Arrow” delivers on both the action front—The Flash and the Arrow’s fight is impeccably staged and rendered—and on the character front. And while the Team Flash interacting with Team Arrow stuff is so much fun to watch, the episode never forgets that this is an episode of The Flash and that everything that happens needs to push this show’s stories forward. Yes, tonight’s metahuman never amounts to anything more than a plot device, but it’s fine because he makes for an effective plot device that gives us the epic fight scene promised by the episode’s title. (Also, David Ramsey, who plays Diggle, definitely steals the show in this episode).
METAHUMAN OF THE WEEK: Ray Bivolo, a.k.a The Rainbow Raider
We kick off tonight’s episode with another one of Barry’s opening monologues. As The Flash is speeding around town like an omnipresent Hitch, Barry is talking about what it’s like to a catch a major case of the feels. Actually, I liked his opening speech so much that I’ll quote it here instead of ruining through a reductive summary:
Everyone on this planet, at some point in their lives, has had a major case of the feelz; Those days when your heart is just too small to hold the big things you’re feeling. Today is one of those days. We think of our emotions like they’re these unique, personal phenomena—that no one has ever felt what we have felt. There is a basis in science for every emotion we feel… As a scientist, I know there’s nothing magical about what makes us feel something for someone else, and then I see her smile [At this point, he’s standing outside of Jitters watching Iris]… Man, that cannot be science.
Maybe it’s because of how excited I am about the prospect of this episode, but I found that last bit about Iris super charming, in spite of the seemingly lack of chemistry between the two characters.
(ASIDE: It makes sense that an episode about feels features the master of feeling all the feels, Oliver Queen. END ASIDE)
Anyway, the episode’s romantic side soon gives way to some hostility when a metahuman enters a bank and turns everyone inside into raging lunatics by just flashing his glowing red eyes. In the midst of the chaos, the metahuman casually strolls into the bank’s vault and walks out with a lot of money. When The Flash finally arrives on the scene, all hell has broken lose as everyone is trying to kill one another. He gets there just in time to stop one female patron from shooting another.
Don’t you hate it when a superhero comes in between you and your significant other? Eddie Thawne definitely does. His relationship with Iris hits a rough patch tonight when he starts pitching the creation of an anti-Flash task force to Captain Singh. Unlike Iris, who just convinced him of The Flash’s existence, Eddie doesn’t believe The Flash is only a force for good and he’s worried about his actual motives.
Now full from stealing Captain Singh’s Big Belly Burger lunch, Barry heads over to S.T.A.R. Labs to brief his team on the new metahuman. A metahuman who can engender irrational feelings of anger in those unlucky enough to cross his path can cause a lot of damage. The meeting is cut short, however, when Iris sends The Flash a message asking to meet—and Caitlin is quick to make her objection known: “Don’t get involved as The Flash or yourself. You don’t want to be the one to blame for their break up.” The cockiness Wells journaled about Flash exhibiting last week is back again this week. Unfortunately, Barry’s actions in tonight’s episode will have the opposite effect.
Nothing important really happens in tonight’s first Superman/Lois Lane scene between The Flash and Iris. They flirt, Iris tries to get him to open up, Barry dodges her questions, their conversation is cut short by Cisco with important news, and Barry says something smooth before speeding away. I want more for Iris, and I can’t wait until the show gives it.
NEXT: Joe and Wells aren’t happy